Our support lines are extremely busy as a result of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme being administered through payroll. Our Covid-19 Resources Documentation will generally answer your query

Also, please note that our support staff are working from home and may answer your call in a sometimes chaotic home environment. We appreciate your patience.


Jul 2020

24

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) Updates

Employers need to submit claims on HMRC’s CJRS online portal for any furlough payments under the CJRS that relate to periods ending on or before 30th June by 31st July 2020. You will no longer be able to submit a claim for the period up to 30th June after 31st July.

The CJRS was originally introduced by the government from 1st March in response to the coronavirus pandemic in order to give financial support to businesses and employees. Under this scheme all employers, regardless of size or business sector, could claim from HMRC a payment for 80% of the wage costs for employees that were furloughed up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee.

From 1st July 2020 employees that were previously furloughed can be brought back to work on a part time basis by their employers once an agreement is reached between the employer and the employee. Employers will still be able to claim under the CJRS for hours that are not worked by the employee. The new grant claim will be based on hours not worked by the employee and the normal hours an employee would usually work.

HMRC has also updated their guidance to confirm employers can claim amounts paid to an employee who is serving their statutory or contractual notice period up to the claim limit of 80% of their pay up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. However, grants cannot be used to substitute redundancy payments.

HMRC plan on introducing a method through the tax system to recover grant amounts overclaimed by employers under the CJRS. Repaying overclaimed grant amounts back will reduce or prevent any potential tax liability under that legislation. Tax liabilities may be due on any overclaim amounts. Further details will follow.

Interested in finding out more? Join BrightPay for a free webinar where we explore the key changes in relation to flexible furlough, phasing out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and changes to making a claim. Places are limited - click here to book your place now.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirus


Jul 2020

13

How To Process COVID-19 Related SSP in BrightPay 20/21

HMRC have advised that if an employee needs to take time off sick or to self-isolate due to COVID-19, the first 3 waiting days that normally apply for SSP will be disregarded and the employee will be entitled to receive SSP from the first day.

We have programmed BrightPay 20/21 so that there is a new option for ‘COVID-19 Related Sick Leave’ and, by choosing this option, the software will automatically apply any SSP due to the employee from day one. Whereas, if you were to choose the normal SSP, the software will take into account the usual 3 waiting days.

With the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, the employer can claim for up to 2 weeks sick leave for an employee that cannot work due to COVID-19, and also those who are self-isolating or shielding, subject to eligibility criteria.

An SSP Claim Report is available in BrightPay to assist users in ascertaining the amounts needed for input into HMRC's Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme online service.

A Step By Step Guide To Processing In BrightPay

Processing COVID-19 related Statutory Sick Pay is easy in BrightPay. Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to help you do it.

Processing COVID-19 Related Sick Leave in BrightPay

  1. First, you need to select the employee’s name on the left. Under ‘Statutory Pay’, click ‘Calendar’, and on the calendar, select the date range that the employee is out on sick leave.
  2. Click ‘Sick Leave’ from the options on the right of the screen and choose 'COVID-19 Related Sick Leave'. The number of ‘Qualifying Days’ & ‘SSP Days’ will be displayed on the screen, bypassing the usual 3 waiting days.
  3. When you close out of the calendar, BrightPay will automatically apply any SSP due to the employee.

It is important to note that if existing payment records have not been recorded in BrightPay or if there is insufficient historical payroll data to determine the employee's average weekly earnings, the automatic calculation may be inaccurate or not possible. In this instance, you can manually override the employee’s average weekly earnings.

BrightPay’s Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme Claim Report

As mentioned, BrightPay also has a claim report to assist users in determining the amounts that you can reclaim through the Coronavirus SSP Rebate Scheme. This report can be found within the ‘Employees’ tab in BrightPay.

  1. First enter the start and end date of the claim period you are claiming for.
  2. On the next screen, select the employees you wish to include in your claim.
  3. If your chosen claim period covers some of the 19/20 tax year, enter COVID-19 related SSP amounts that you wish to claim for the previous tax year.
  4. On the final screen, a summary of your claim will be displayed. Enter any of the additional information that HMRC require when making a claim. If you wish, you can view the full report, and this can be printed, exported or emailed for your records.

Each claim report generated in the software is stand-alone and no data is saved each time a claim report is run. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have exported the report, so that you don’t lose the information.

SSP & Furloughed Employees

Furloughed employees retain their statutory rights, including their right to Statutory Sick Pay, and so furloughed employees who become ill must be paid at least the rate of SSP, subject to them meeting the eligibility criteria. You can claim back from both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the SSP rebate scheme for the same employee but not for the same period of time.

If an employee becomes sick while furloughed, it is up to the employers to decide whether to move these employees onto Statutory Sick Pay or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate. If the employee is moved onto SSP, employers can no longer claim for the furloughed salary. Whereas, if the employee is kept on the furloughed rate, they remain eligible for the employer to claim for these costs through the furlough scheme.

Free COVID-19 Webinars For Employers

Want to keep up-to-date with the latest updates regarding COVID-19 and businesses? We’re holding regular webinars to share with you all news relating to HMRC updates, what employers need to know and how you can make sure you’re complying with best practices at all times.

Click here to watch our previous webinars on-demand, where we cover everything from important COVID-19 payroll updates to return to work government policies and more.

To receive email notifications letting you know when we’re holding our next webinar, sign-up to our mailing list and ensure you don’t miss out on the latest updates for your business.

 

Posted bySarah TyrrellinCoronavirusHMRCPayroll


Jul 2020

9

Chancellor announces furlough bonus scheme and more in Summer Statement

“Stand by workers and we’ll stand by you”

Whilst working from home, my daily TV schedule consists of tons of Judge Judy, border patrol programmes and Can’t Pay Take It Away (great show). But yesterday, like many others, I was glued to the live stream from the House of Commons as Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled a plethora of announcements that are aimed at stimulating the festering sore that is the UK economy after a global pandemic and nationwide lockdown.

And let me tell you, it’s a lot. Rishi has clearly been listening and a lot of his rhetoric and policy announced in the Summer Statement addressed those whose jobs and futures have been affected the most, in particular young people (16-24) and the hospitality sector. Unemployment rates and redundancies are on the rise with the tapering off of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and these measures are to try and help employees stay in work and help employers to enable them to do so, with the Chancellor stating: “stand by workers and we’ll stand by you”.

So what’s been announced? While there was an abundance of big news, such as the temporary writing off of stamp duty under £500,000 and a £2bn “green homes grants” to make more homes energy efficient, in this blog I will focus mainly on the points that apply to employees and employers.

  • The first major announcement, following on from the Job Retention Scheme which was a lifeline for millions of people in the UK, the next phase is the Job Retention Bonus Scheme. This bonus of £1,000 will be given to an employer for each member of staff they bring back from furlough. To stop people taking the mick and chancing their arm, the employee must be employed from once they’re taken back to at least January 2021 of next year. The employee must also be earning at least £535 per month for this period.
  • A kickstart scheme was then unveiled with the aim to, you guessed it, kickstart job creation for young people as under 25s are 2.5 times more likely to suffer job loss as a result of Covid-19. The government has pledged £2bn to fund hundreds of thousands of jobs for 16-25 year olds whereby they will pay the wages of new, young employees for 6 months. There is no cap on the number of young people that can be hired under this scheme.
  • To boost apprenticeships, which have a 91% successful retention rate, businesses who create positions for new apprentices will be given a bonus of £2,000 for each apprentice under the age of 25 and £1,500 for those over 25. The bonus scheme is available for employees who apply between August 2020 and January 2021.
  • Work coach numbers positions in Job Centres will be doubled and guidance counsellor positions will be boosted also with the aim of helping people find jobs.
  • To help the hospitality sector, a temporary cut to VAT on food, accommodation and attractions has been announced that cuts VAT from 20% to 5%.
  • The Chancellor also announced the introduction of “eat out to help out” vouchers that give diners 50% off their meals out from Mondays to Wednesday with a maximum discount of £10 per person for the month of August only.

So there you have it. While these measures are most welcome and certainly very creative (Rishi gets an A for effort) there are still major concerns not being addressed and it feels a little like putting a plaster on an arrow wound as the economy slowly bleeds out. We need this sort of energy not just now, but for the next couple of years as we come to terms with all of this.

So personally, I will take my butt to a half-price meal and enjoy every bite whilst I silently reserve judgement on it all and wait to see what happens.

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinCoronavirus


Jul 2020

7

5 Principles To Help Protect Your Employees During COVID-19

More and more businesses are reopening at last. This is very good news for the economy as a whole, but also for business owners and their staff that depend on them. However, the shift brings with it some concern surrounding the responsibilities employers now face in regard to how they protect their employees during a public health pandemic. This unchartered territory raises a lot of questions about what employers need to be doing differently, and how they can do it effectively.

Luckily enough, the Government has produced a series of guidance documents which provide information on the appropriate steps that employers should be taking to protect employees from COVID-19.

There are currently 12 separate guidance documents, each one focused on specific industries or other categories. They are:

  • Close contact services
  • Construction and other outdoor work
  • Factories, plants and warehouses
  • Heritage locations
  • Hotels and other guest accommodation
  • Labs and research facilities
  • Offices and contact centres
  • Other people’s homes
  • Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
  • Shops and branches
  • Vehicles
  • The visitor economy

Many businesses will find that at least two of these categories are applicable to their business. For example, an employer may operate an office and a factory or warehouse. This will mean that some employers may need to work from more than one of the guides.

5 Principles of Protecting Employees

Regardless of what industry you are in, there are 5 principles that employers should be following to protect employees as they come back to work.

1. Risk Assessment

You must carry out a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. In completing your risk assessment you will be looking to identify what work activities might cause transmission of the virus, the likelihood of such a transmission, who is likely to be at risk and formulate a plan to minimise this risk. Once completed, it will be important that you share the results of your risk assessment with staff and staff representatives and make it easily available to them anytime. The BrightPay Connect employee app is perfectly suited to this.

2. Working From Home

Employers need to take all reasonable steps to continue to allow employees to work from home. As an employer, you should allow someone to work from home even if you wouldn't in normal circumstances have agreed to a request for remote working. If it is at all possible for the work to be done in an effective way, even if it's not ideal, even if there are some tasks that can't be done, employers should be doing everything they can to facilitate remote working for the foreseeable future.

3. Workplace Hygiene

Where it is not possible for employees to work from home and they are coming into the workplace, employers will need to put in place appropriate cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures. Suggestions put forward in the guidance include:

  • Providing hand sanitizers in the workplace
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting regularly touched surfaces
  • Encourage people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene

4. Social Distancing

You will also need to ensure that social distancing of 2 metres is in place wherever possible. This will require lots of signage and established one-way systems. Consider placing tape on floors to mark out 2 meter boundaries, make sure that rest areas are appropriately cordoned off so that people aren't encouraged to sit too close together, and limit the number of employees allowed in common areas, such as a staff kitchen, at a time. 

5. Personal Protective Equipment

Of course there are going to be some jobs where social distancing can’t be achieved. In these situations, additional steps should be taken to manage the transmission risk via the use of personal protective equipment. These steps may include the use of gloves, face masks, perspex guards and staggering start/break times.

Internal Communications

As mentioned earlier, once you have completed your risk assessment and you have decided on the preventative measures you are taking, it will be important that you communicate these changes effectively with your employees and your employee representatives or union representatives.

  • It is advisable that you put in place COVID-19 Safe Working Policy. This will clearly communicate to workers what steps you have taken to help prevent the spread of infection and it will also set out any responsibilities workers have. 
  • You should also consider holding a Return to The Workplace Induction in which you go through this new policy in detail and in person to ensure that everyone fully understands the changes being made. 
  • Sending out a Returning to The Workplace Staff Survey before your employees return will help you to identify any concerns they feel about coming back to work and potential gaps in your policy that need to be addressed. 

Make Sure Your Business Is Compliant With Our Free Webinar

The BrightPay team are holding regular webinars to share with you all news relating to HMRC updates, what employers need to know and how you can make sure you’re complying with best practices at all times. Click here to watch our previous COVID-19 webinars on-demand, where we cover everything from important COVID-19 payroll updates to return to work government policies and more.

Posted bySarah TyrrellinCoronavirus


Jul 2020

3

Flexible Furlough - Employees Returning to Work Part-Time

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing to support businesses as the economy is carefully reopened. Before July, employees that were placed on furlough could not undertake work for you. Originally, the scheme was only for employees who were not working, and while on furlough, an employee could not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation.

From 1st July, businesses have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim under the CJRS for hours not worked. This new flexibility will help businesses with reopening and help boost the economy.

The government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees wages for any normal hours they do not work, up until the end of August, but the employer will have to pay employees for the hours they do work. For example, if a furloughed worker returns to work for two days per week, they would need to be paid as normal by their employer for these two days, while the government would cover the other three days.

Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and so employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement agreed between a business and their employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. You must keep a written record of the agreement for five years and keep records of how many hours your employees work and the number of hours they are furloughed (i.e. not working).

If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain fully furloughed and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

From 1st July, employers will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks any time between 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June and meets the qualifying criteria to be furloughed for the first time.

Where an employee is flexibly furloughed, employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period, the employee’s actual hours worked, and the number of furloughed hours for each claim period.

If you claim in advance and your employee works for more hours than you agreed, then you’ll have to pay some of the grant back to HMRC. This means that you should not claim until you have certainty about the number of hours your employees are working during the claim period.

Interested in finding out more about the new changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? Watch our webinar on-demand where we discuss flexible furlough, the wind-down of the scheme and changes to making a CJRS claim.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


Jun 2020

30

CJRS 2.0 - What you need to know

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been hugely popular and, according to recent statistics, over 1.1 million employers had furloughed employees in 9.2 million jobs and claimed more than £23 billion in grants. The CJRS scheme will continue to support jobs until the end of October, however, from 1st July, there will be many changes to the scheme. Here we've put together a summary of some of the key points to note.

Flexible Furlough

To date, employees that were placed on furlough could not undertake work for you. Originally, the scheme was only for employees who were not working, and while on furlough, an employee could not undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation. However, from 1st July, employers will be able to bring furloughed workers back to work on a part-time basis while still being able to claim under the CJRS for hours not worked.

  • The government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees wages for any normal hours they do not work, up until the end of August, but the employer will have to pay employees for the hours they do work, e.g. if a furloughed worker returns to work for two days per week, they would need to be paid as normal by their employer for these two days, while the government would cover the other three days.
  • From 1st July, employers will only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks any time between 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June 2020 and meets the qualifying criteria to be furloughed for the first time.
  • Employers will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, and so employees can work as much or as little as the business needs, with no minimum time that they can furlough staff for.
  • If employees are unable to return to work, or employers do not have work for them to do, they can remain fully furloughed and the employer can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Furlough Scheme Wind-Down

From August 2020, the level of grant will be reduced each month. Employers will have to start contributing to the wage costs of paying their furloughed staff, and this employer contribution will gradually increase in September and October.

  • In August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500, but employers will be required to pay employer National Insurance contributions and employer pension contributions. For the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed. 
  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer NI contributions and employer pension contributions plus 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500.
  • In October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will need to pay employer NI contributions and employer pension contributions plus 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total, up to a cap of £2,500.
  • After 31st October, the government contributions will finish and the scheme will come to an end.

Making a Claim

In line with the above changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, there are also changes to the way employers need to make a claim.

  • Employers will have until 31‌‌st July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30‌‌th June. Claims for periods after 30th June can only be made from 1st July.
  • Claim periods starting on or after 1st July 2020 must start and end within the same calendar month. Therefore, pay periods which span two calendar months must be broken down into two separate claims. This is to accommodate the fact that the scheme is changing from month to month.
  • It is possible to make more than one claim in each month, but each claim must be for a minimum period of at least 7 days. The only exception to this is if you are claiming for the first few days or the last few days in a month, known as 'orphan days'. In this instance, a claim period can be shorter than 7 days.
  • The number of employees you can claim for in any claim period from 1st July 2020 cannot exceed the maximum number of employees you claimed for in any single claim before 30th June 2020. An exception to this is where an employee is returning from statutory parental leave after 10th June.
  • When claiming for employees who are flexibly furloughed, employers are required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked. Therefore, you should not claim until you are sure of the exact number of hours they will have worked during the claim period.

Interested in finding out more about the new changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme? Watch our webinar on-demand where we discuss flexible furlough, the wind-down of the scheme and changes to making a CJRS claim.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


Jun 2020

4

The Road to COVID-19 Recovery - Return to Work Safety Policies

Join us on 11th June for a free COVID-19 webinar

This webinar will examine key facts & updated guidance on COVID-19 payroll impacts. Understand what the lockdown easing will mean for your business as you reopen and what COVID-19 safety policies you need to introduce.


Part 1: Important COVID-19 Payroll Updates

In recent months, HMRC have introduced COVID-19 Government schemes to help keep paying employees with a number of important updates being rolled out. The government has announced the first steps to ease the coronavirus restrictions with a roadmap in place for lockdown measures to be slowly lifted. Understand how to adapt your payroll processes to accommodate for the schemes and subsequent updates.

Agenda

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - A Quick Recap
  • How BrightPay’s CJRS Claim Report works
  • COVID-19 Related Statutory Sick Pay & The SSP Rebate Scheme
  • Managing Annual Leave during COVID-19

Part 2: Return to Work Safely Protocol

The UK government has set out a roadmap for lifting further restrictions and opening more businesses and venues, but this plan is dependent on successfully controlling the spread of the virus. Employers should stay safe in public spaces and workplaces by following 'COVID-19 secure' guidelines.

With the emergence from lockdown becoming clearer, businesses will need to start to put plans and COVID-19 policies in place for their employees to go back to the workplace safely. It is advisable for all workplaces to adapt their workplace HR policies, procedures and practices to comply with the COVID-19 related safety guidelines.


Unable to attend?

If you are unable to attend the webinar at the specified time, simply register for the webinar anyway and we will send you the recording afterwards. You can also click here to view more webinar dates.

Posted byRachel HynesinCoronavirus


May 2020

21

Unemployment set to skyrocket despite the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

If you had told me six months ago that a global pandemic would force us into lockdown, everyone would be working from home, people stopped hugging each other and that the government would be paying 80% of our wages I would have laughed at you and demanded a big gulp of whatever you were drinking. But, as the media likes to drive home every chance they get, these are unprecedented times that we are living in.

The uncertainty has been one of the most overarching aspects of the current crisis and, although everyone seems to be doing their best (especially HMRC with the CJRS) what if our best is simply not good enough?

Rishi Sunak announced last week that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is being extended to October and that soon employees’ wages would be shared between the government and the employers. And while this was welcome news, it now turns out that this particular concession won’t be effective until August, whereas the rest of Europe are already sharing furlough with their respective governments.

The CJRS has been a very noble attempt to support the economy and has ensured that millions of UK citizens aren’t without a wage and that businesses stay afloat. But the sheer length of the current crisis and the damage it is doing to millions of businesses just simply may not be sustainable. Employees are required to completely remove themselves from work thus ceasing all activity and production. And with part-time work not allowed until August, this is another nail in the coffin for many job prospects and people’s job security.

Already unemployment is set to increase up to 9% and that is with the CJRS in its current form. There are also mutterings that those covered by the furlough scheme will, from August, need to have 40% of their wages covered by the employers or else support will be discontinued. But in August, it is most likely that social distancing measures will still be in full effect plus current travel restrictions and guidelines. How can a restaurant or theatre support 40% of their staff wages if they can only operate at 25% capacity? Never mind the blow businesses will suffer as people simply might not be ready to go out and socialise. Being allowed to go for a pint and actually doing it are two different things altogether.

On top of this, there are lots of issues surrounding manufacturing jobs with limited productivity and disrupted supply chains. There is also concern for employees who are able to work but may not wish to do so for health reasons. These people and jobs are all part of a growing number that are being revealed as vulnerable to being made redundant.

I don’t mean to be all doom and gloom; rather, we need to be pragmatic and realise that, despite not being at crazy levels of unemployment like other countries, we are nowhere near done and the measures currently in place will not sustain the workforce that existed pre-coronavirus. A second wave of unemployment seems to be imminent despite the government’s “best” efforts. Something needs to be done soon to address these concerns and protect not just the economy, but the people of the UK.

COVID-19 & Payroll

Interested in finding out more about COVID-19 and Payroll? Visit BrightPay's COVID-19 Resources Hub for the latest updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, HMRC’s Claim Portal, COVID-19 Related SSP and much more.

BrightPay's COVID-19 Hub COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

Posted byAoibheann ByrneinCoronavirus


May 2020

19

Claim Guidance for Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Claim

HMRC has released further information for employers who are planning to submit a claim under the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. HMRC have confirmed that the coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will launch online on 26 May.

Where employers are registered for PAYE Online and they have a Government Gateway User ID, the employer will require this for their claim. If the employer is not enrolled for PAYE Online, they will need to enroll now. If an employer has an agent that is authorised to operate PAYE Online for their client, the agent can claim under this scheme on behalf of the employer.

Employers will need the following for the claim:

  • Employer PAYE reference
  • Contact name or number
  • Bank account details – sort code and account number
  • The total amount of Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus related) that has been paid to employees in the claim period
  • Dates for the Statutory Sick Leave period – start and end dates
  • The number of employees being claimed for

The employer must keep records for the statutory sick payments they wish to claim from HMRC, to include:

  • The National insurance number for each employee being claimed for
  • Start and end dates for the period of sick leave an employee was off sick
  • The reason why the employee could not work
  • Details of the qualifying dates in the period the employee could not work

Claims for multiple employees and multiple pay periods can be submitted by an employer at the one time. The start date of the claim period will be the earliest pay period the employer is submitting the claim for and the end date of the claim being the most recent pay period on the claim. HMRC has advised that employers must keep the records for the SSP paid and claimed under this scheme for three years after the date they receive the payment from HMRC.

The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) Regulations 2020 legislation to provide for eligible employers to reclaim some, or all, of their Statutory Sick Pay has been presented before Parliament to take effect from 26 May 2020.

Regulations have also been laid in Northern Ireland – ‘The Statutory Sick Pay (Coronavirus) (Funding of Employers’ Liabilities) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirus


May 2020

13

Furlough Scheme to be available until 31st of October

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has advised the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be available for employers for furloughed employees until the end of October 2020 and will introduce a new flexibility option under the scheme from August. This will apply to all regions and sectors in the UK economy.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced for four months from 1st March by the government because of the coronavirus pandemic in order to give financial support to businesses and employees. Under this scheme all employers, regardless of size or business sector, can claim from HMRC a payment for 80% of the wage costs for employees that were furloughed up to a maximum of £2,500 per month per employee. If the employer can afford to top up the additional 20% of the employee’s wages they can pay the employee the additional amount if they wish.

There were suggestions that the furlough amount reclaimable would drop to 60% but it was confirmed the scheme would remain at 80% of the wage costs for employees that were furloughed, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. An option of flexibility for the CJRS will be introduced in August that furloughed employees will be able to return to work on a part time basis where the employer will be asked to pay a percentage of the employees’ wage costs. This will only be available for employers that are already using the furlough scheme. This new flexibility will help with businesses reopening and help boost the economy. More details will be available by the end of May.

The government intends to explore options for furloughed employees that wish to partake in training or learning new skills in the furlough period and will work in conjunction with the Devolved Administrations to ensure people across the Union are supported.

Chancellor Sunak advised that 7.5 million employees have so far been furloughed by employers, which is approximately 29% of the workforce in the UK. There are 935,000 employers availing of the CJRS and so far over £10 billion has been claimed by employers using this scheme.

COVID-19 & Payroll Webinar

Interested in finding out more about COVID-19 and Payroll? Join BrightPay for our free webinars where we discuss the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Furlough Leave, HMRC’s Claim Portal and COVID-19 Related SSP. Places are limited - click here to book your place now.

Posted byDebbie ClarkeinCoronavirus